gelatine (n.) Look up gelatine at
1713, from French gélatine (17c.) "clear jelly-like substance from animals; fish broth," from Italian gelatina, from gelata "jelly," from gelare "to jell," from Latin gelare "to freeze, congeal" (see cold (adj.)). With chemical suffix -ine (2). Spelling gelatin is from 1800. "The form without final -e is in scientific (or pseudo-scientific) use only ..." [Fowler].
gelatinous (adj.) Look up gelatinous at
1724, from gelatine + -ous; probably modeled on French gélatineux. Related: Gelatinously; gelatinousness.
gelato (n.) Look up gelato at
by 1970, from Italian gelato, literally "frozen," past participle of gelare "to freeze, congeal" (see cold (adj.)).
geld (n.) Look up geld at
royal tax in medieval England, c. 1600, as a historical term, from Medieval Latin geldum, from Old English gield "payment, tax, tribute, compensation," from Proto-Germanic *geldam "payment" (source also of Middle High German gelt "payment, contribution," German geld "money," Old Norse gjald "payment," Gothic gild "tribute, tax"), from PIE root *gheldh- "to pay" (see yield (v.)).
geld (v.) Look up geld at
"to castrate," c. 1300, from Old Norse gelda "to castrate," said in Watkins to be from Proto-Germanic *galdjan "to castrate," from PIE *ghel- (3) "to cut." Related to other words which, if the derivation is correct, indicate a general sense of "barren." Compare Old Norse geld-fe "barren sheep" and geldr (adj.) "barren, yielding no milk, dry," which yielded Middle English geld "barren" (of women and female animals); also Old High German galt "barren," said of a cow. Related: Gelded; gelding.
gelding (n.) Look up gelding at
late 14c., "castrated animal" (especially a horse), also "a eunuch" (late 13c. as a surname), from Old Norse geldingr "wether; eunuch," from gelda "castrate" (see geld (v.)).
gelid (adj.) Look up gelid at
"very cold," c. 1600, from Latin gelidus "icy, cold, frosty," from gelum "frost, ice, intense cold" (see cold (adj.)). Related: Gelidity.
geloscopy (n.) Look up geloscopy at
"divination of a person's qualities or character by laughter," 1730s, from Greek gelos "laughter" + -scopy.
gelt (n.) Look up gelt at
"money," 1520s, from German and Dutch gelt "gold, money," from Proto-Germanic *geldam "payment" (see geld (n.)). In some later uses from Yiddish gelt, from Old High German gelt "payment, reward," from the same source.
gelt (adj.) Look up gelt at
past participle of geld (v.); hence, as an adjective, "castrated" (mid-15c.).
gem (n.) Look up gem at
"a precious stone" (especially when cut or polished), c. 1300, probably from Old French gemme (12c.), from Latin gemma "precious stone, jewel," originally "bud," from Proto-Italic *gebma- "bud, sprout," from PIE *geb-m- "sprout, bud" (source also of Lithuanian žembeti "to germinate, sprout," Old Church Slavonic prozebnoti "to germinate"). The two competing traditional etymologies trace it either to the root *gembh- "tooth, nail; to bite" [Watkins] or *gem- "'to press." De Vaan finds the second "semantically unconvincing" and leans toward the first despite the difficult sense connection. Of persons, "a rare or excellent example (of something)" from late 13c. Alternative forms iemme, gimme persisted into 14c. and might represent a survival of Old English gimm "precious stone, gem, jewel," also "eye," which was borrowed directly from Latin gemma.
gem (v.) Look up gem at
c. 1600, "to adorn with gems;" earlier (mid-12c.) "to bud," from gem (n.). Related: Gemmed; gemming.
gematria (n.) Look up gematria at
1680s, from Hebrew gematriya, a transliteration of Greek geometria (see geometry). "[E]xplanation of the sense of a word by substituting for it another word, so that the numerical value of the letters constituting either word is identical" [Klein].
gemeinschaft (n.) Look up gemeinschaft at
1913, as a German word in English (the article suggests "Parish Brotherhoods" as a translation of German Gemeinschaften), from German Gemeinschaft "social relationship based on affection or kinship" (contrasted with gesellschaft), from gemein "common, general" (see mean (adj.1)) + -schaft (see -ship).
geminate (adj.) Look up geminate at
"duplicated, found in pairs," early 15c., from Latin geminatus "twinned, equal," past participle of geminare "to double, repeat," related to geminus "twin, born together; paired, double," perhaps from PIE *yem- "to pair." As a verb, from 1630s. Related: Geminated; geminating; geminative.
gemination (n.) Look up gemination at
1590s, "a doubling," from Latin geminationem (nominative geminatio) "a doubling," noun of action from past participle stem of geminare "to double, repeat" (see geminate). In rhetoric, repetition of a word or phrase for emphasis.
Gemini (n.) Look up Gemini at
zodiac constellation, late Old English, from Latin gemini (plural of adjective geminus) "twins" (see geminate). Formerly also spelled gemeny, gemony, jeminy, etc. The twins are Castor and Pollux in Latin, which also are the names of the two brightest stars in the constellation; for their Greek name see Dioscuri. Meaning "a person born under the sign of Gemini" is recorded from 1894. As an oath, from 1660s (also found in Dutch and German), perhaps a corruption of Jesu (compare jiminy).
gemmologist (n.) Look up gemmologist at
1931, from gemmology (1811), from Latin gemma (see gem) + -ology.
gemstone (n.) Look up gemstone at
Old English gimstan; see gem + stone (n.).
gendarme (n.) Look up gendarme at
"French military police," 1796, from French (they were first organized in France 1790); earlier "mounted trooper" (1540s), from French contraction (14c.) of gens d'armes "men at arms." Gens is plural of gent "nation, people," from Latin gentem (nominative gens) "race, nation, people" (see genus). For armes see arm (n.2). Related: Gendarmerie, gendarmerygens de (la) robe "lawyers," which was sometimes borrowed in English.
gender (n.) Look up gender at
c. 1300, "kind, sort, class," from Old French gendre, genre "kind, species; character; gender" (12c., Modern French genre), from stem of Latin genus (genitive generis) "race, stock, family; kind, rank, order; species," also "(male or female) sex," from PIE root *gene- (see genus). Also used in Latin to translate Aristotle's Greek grammatical term genos. The grammatical sense is attested in English from late 14c. The -d- is a phonetic accretion in Old French (compare sound (n.1)).

The "male-or-female sex" sense is attested in English from early 15c. As sex (n.) took on erotic qualities in 20c., gender came to be the usual English word for "sex of a human being," in which use it was at first regarded as colloquial or humorous. Later often in feminist writing with reference to social attributes as much as biological qualities; this sense first attested 1963. Gender-bender is from 1977, popularized from 1980, with reference to pop star David Bowie.
gender (v.) Look up gender at
"to bring forth," late 14c., from Old French gendrer, genrer "engender, beget, give birth to," from Latin generare "to engender, beget, produce" (see generation). Related: Gendered; gendering.
gene (n.) Look up gene at
1911, from German Gen, coined 1905 by Danish scientist Wilhelm Ludvig Johannsen (1857-1927), from Greek genea "generation, race," from PIE root *gene- (see genus). De Vries had earlier called them pangenes. Gene pool is attested from 1946.
genealogical (adj.) Look up genealogical at
1570s, from French généalogique, from généalogie (see genealogy) + -al (1). Earlier in the same sense was genealogial (mid-15c.). Related: Genealogically.
genealogist (n.) Look up genealogist at
c. 1600, from genealogy + -ist. A verb genealogize also is recorded from c. 1600.
genealogy (n.) Look up genealogy at
early 14c., "line of descent, pedigree, descent," from Old French genealogie (12c.), from Late Latin genealogia "tracing of a family," from Greek genealogia "the making of a pedigree," from genea "generation, descent" (see genus) + -logia (see -logy). An Old English word for it was folctalu, literally "folk tale." Meaning "study of family trees" is from 1768.
genera (n.) Look up genera at
plural of genus.
generable (adj.) Look up generable at
mid-15c., "capable of being begotten, that may be produced," from Latin generabilis, from generare "to bring forth" (see generation).
general (adj.) Look up general at
c. 1200, "of wide application, generic, affecting or involving all" (as opposed to special or specific), from Old French general (12c.) and directly from Latin generalis "relating to all, of a whole class, generic" (contrasted with specialis), from genus (genitive generis) "stock, kind" (see genus).
What is common is of frequent occurrence.
What is general admits of comparatively few exceptions: the general opinion (the opinion of the majority); the general welfare.
[J.H.A. Günther, "English Synonyms Explained & Illustrated," Groningen, Netherlands, 1904]
Used in forming titles from late 14c. with the sense "having general authority or jurisdiction, chief." Phrase in general "without exception, in one body; as a rule, generally, not specifically" is from late 14c. General rule, one applying to an art or science as a whole, is from c. 1400. General store attested by 1810, American English, in reference to the range of goods sold; a general hospital (1737) is one not restricted to one class of persons or type of disease.
general (n.) Look up general at
late 14c., "whole class of things or persons, a broad classification, a general truth," from general (adj.). Meaning "commander of an army" is 1570s, shortening of captain general, from Middle French capitaine général. The English adjective was affixed to civic officer designations by late 14c. to indicate superior rank and extended jurisdiction.
generalisation (n.) Look up generalisation at
chiefly British English spelling of generalization. For spelling, see -ize.
generalissimo (n.) Look up generalissimo at
"supreme military commander," 1620s, from Italian generalissimo, superlative of generale, from a sense development similar to French general (see general (n.)). Parson Weems applied it to George Washington. In 20c. use sometimes from Spanish generalissimo in reference to the military dictator Franco.
generalist (n.) Look up generalist at
1610s, "one who generalizes," from general (adj.) + -ist. From 1894 as "one who engages in general studies" (opposed to specialist).
generality (n.) Look up generality at
late 14c., generalite, generalte, "universality, universal application;" c. 1400 "whole body of persons," from Old French generalité, generaute "sort, type; totality, entirety," from Late Latin generalitatem (nominative generalitas) "generality," from Latin generalis "relating to all" (see general (adj.)). Related: Generalities. Form generalty is attested from late 14c.
generalization (n.) Look up generalization at
1761, "act of generalizing," from generalize + noun ending -ation. Meaning "an instance of generalizing, an induction, a general inference" is from 1794.
generalize (v.) Look up generalize at
1751, probably a new formation from general (adj.) + -ize. Middle English had generalisen (early 15c.). Related: Generalizable; generalized; generalizing.
generally (adv.) Look up generally at
"including everyone; in a general way, without reference to particulars," mid-14c., from general (adj.) + -ly (2).
generalship (n.) Look up generalship at
1590s, from general (n.) + -ship.
generate (v.) Look up generate at
c. 1500, "to beget" (offspring), a back-formation from generation or else from Latin generatus, past participle of generare "to beget, produce," from genus "race, kind" (see genus). In reference to natural forces, conditions, substances, etc., from 1560s. Related: Generated; generating.
generation (n.) Look up generation at
early 14c., "body of individuals born about the same period" (historically 30 years but in other uses as few as 17), on the notion of "descendants at the same stage in the line of descent," from Old French generacion "race, people, species; progeny, offspring; act of procreating" (12c., Modern French génération) and directly from Latin generationem (nominative generatio) "generating, generation," noun of action from past participle stem of generare "bring forth, beget, produce," from genus "race, kind" (see genus).

From late 14c. as "act or process of procreation; process of being formed; state of being procreated; reproduction; sexual intercourse;" also "that which is produced, fruit, crop; children; descendants, offspring of the same parent." Generation gap first recorded 1967; generation x is 1991, by author Douglas Coupland (b.1961) in the book of that name; generation y attested by 1994. Adjectival phrase first-generation, second-generation, etc. with reference to U.S. immigrant families is from 1896. Related: Generational.
generative (adj.) Look up generative at
late 14c., "reproductive, pertaining to propagation," from generate + -ive. Use in linguistics is attested by 1959. Related: Generativity.
generator (n.) Look up generator at
1640s, "person who begets, causes, or produces," from Latin generator "a begetter, producer," agent noun from past participle stem of generare "to bring forth" (see generation). Meaning "machine that generates power" first recorded 1794; sense of "machine that generates electric energy" is from 1879. Fem. generatrix attested from 1650s.
generic (adj.) Look up generic at
1670s, "belonging to a large group of objects," formed in English from Latin gener-, stem of genus "race, kind" (see genus) + -ic. Hence "of a general kind, not special. In reference to manufactured products, "not special; not brand-name; in plain, cheap packaging," is from 1953 of drugs; of groceries, etc., from 1977. Related: Generically.
generosity (n.) Look up generosity at
early 15c., "nobility, goodness of race," from Latin generositatem (nominative generositas) "nobility, excellence, magnanimity," from generosus "of noble birth; magnanimous" (see generous). Meaning "munificence, quality of being generous" is recorded from 1670s.
generous (adj.) Look up generous at
1580s, "of noble birth," from Middle French généreux (14c.), from Latin generosus "of noble birth," figuratively "magnanimous, generous," from genus (genitive generis) "race, stock" (see genus). Secondary senses of "unselfish" (1690s) and "plentiful" (1610s) in English were present in French and in Latin. Related: Generously; generousness.
genesis (n.) Look up genesis at
Old English Genesis, first book of the Pentateuch, which tells among other things of the creation of the world, from Latin genesis "generation, nativity," in Late Latin taken as the title of first book of the Old Testament, from Greek genesis "origin, creation, generation," from gignesthai "to be born," related to genos "race, birth, descent" (see genus). Greek translators used the word as the title of the biblical book, rendering Hebrew bereshith, literally "in the beginning," which was the first word of the text, taken as its title. Extended sense of "origin, creation" first recorded in English c. 1600.
genet (n.) Look up genet at
small civet, late 15c., from Old French genete (13c., Modern French genette), from Spanish gineta, from Arabic jarnait.
genetic (adj.) Look up genetic at
1831, "pertaining to origins," coined by Carlyle as if from Greek genetikos from genesis "origin" (see genesis). Darwin used it biologically as "resulting from common origin" (1859); modern sense of "pertaining to genetics or genes" is from 1908 (see gene). Related: Genetically. Genetical is attested from 1650s as "pertaining to origins."
geneticist (adj.) Look up geneticist at
1912, from genetics + -ist.
genetics (n.) Look up genetics at
1872, "laws of origination;" see genetic + -ics. A coinage of English biologist William Bateson (1861-1926). Meaning "study of heredity" is from 1891.